When it comes to basketball hoops, we all know that they come in all shapes and sizes. No, seriously – they do not only come in all sizes, but there are different shapes too.
I know that NBA/professional basketball hoop should have a rectangular backboard, but I kid you not I’ve seen square backboards as well as oval-shaped ones.
And I’m not against small-size borads with different shapes, because they make affordable hoops that people have at their homes or offices to enjoy some leisure time with family, friends and colleagues.
But what if you play basketball at a professional level? What if you’re in a college league and you want a professional hoop for practice? What if you want it at your home, office or gym?
This is what this list is all about. I’ve picked 7 best 54 inch basketball hoops for those who want real professional stuff for training.
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Best 54 Inch Basketball Goals
In this section, I will review each and every hoop. My review process is 3-fold.
I haven’t tested all of these hoops, but at different stages in my life, I’ve tested a few of them. So, this review is partly based on my personal experience.
For the hoops that I haven’t personally tested, I consult with players and experts that I have tried them. This review is thus partly based on peer/expert opinions.
And lastly, I give weightage to the reviews given by the customers of these hoops on Amazon. For this purpose, I only pick reviews given by customers with verified purchases.
This really helped to pick the best possible system because the buyers state most obvious problems and hassles they face with their basketball system when they are verified buyers. To keep you save from a drastic experience, I only pick the ones with best reviews and no significant problems.
1. Silverback NXT –
Silverback is one of the most famous companies that are known for manufacturing really high- quality basketball equipment, especially outdoor basketball goals. This hoop made by Silverback is a professional portable basketball goal with 54” board. It is important to remember that actual tournament size is 60”.
54” Big Board
First thing first, you’re here to know more about the board because that is your primary concern. Silverback NXT has got a 54” big backboard. As I’ve explained the professional/tournament size is 60”. While this is not the same size, this is the closest that you can get with a hybrid (tournament + family/friends/leisure) hoop.
Stabili-Frame for Strength and Stability
The Stabili-Frame is a proprietary basketball hoop frame design from Silverback. So, what is stabili-frame? The steel chassis that the backboard rests on, is directly linked with the main pole and due to this intelligent load sharing system, your hoop remains intact for years.
Infinity Edge Backboard for Maximum Rebound
So, what kind of backboard is this? This is a very innovative idea that is basically based on the need for rebound. Everyone wants a board with good rebound speed. The plastic and metal frame backboards do not deliver as good as this one, because its edges are wrapped around to the backside of the board (single material from board to edges). As a result, you enjoy better rebound.
Portable Hoop with Wheelbarrow Base
Another innovation is what they made in terms of the base’s design. In case of traditional base that you notice among portable hoops, the base’s bottom is totally flat, but with wheelbarrow style base of this hoop, you enjoy more stable hoop since base is directly resting on the ground and you move it easily.
Since this hoop is made for multiple purposes (home/office leisure as well as professional training), the best thin about the pole + stabili-frame is that height can be adjusted anywhere from 7’5” to 10’.
Also Read: Best 10 Feet Basketball Goals In 2021
Powder-Coated Breakaway Steel Rim
There are 3 things that you need to know about the rim. It is a stainless-steel rim that is powder coated for protection against weather, it has a nylon rim and by design it is a breakaway (tournament-standard) rim.
Assembling this hoop is very easy and it should not take more than 2 hours.
Spalding is a very trustworthy brand that makes top of the line basketball equipment. As a matter of fact when it comes to the tournament-standard basketball setups, only a few brands can compete with hoops made by Spalding.
52” x 32” Board
So, this is a “near-professional training” basketball board size. As I’ve explained earlier, the tournament size is 60”. However, considering the majority of the target customers of this hoop from Spalding, it can be said that this range is ideal for family and friends as well as training.
Tempered Glass Board
There are many different types of materials that are used in making basketball hoops. For example, materials like polycarbonate, acrylic and plastic etc. are used for this purpose. However, tempered glass is one of the best materials because its stiffness provides good rebound.
Arena Slam Breakaway Rim
Arena Slam is not something that you need to think about – it’s just a brand name adopted by Spalding. What matters is the type of rim that you get with this hoop. We all know that in tournaments, they do not use rigid rims, but the breakaway ones. So, it is indeed very good to get a professional rim with your professional training hoop.
Screw Jack Lift
Screw jack lift is a very simple design. The way it is used in other mechanical parts throughout the world, the same way it is used in this hoop. Screw jack makes it super easy for the user to increase or decrease the pole’s height.
Speaking of pole’s height and the screw jack lift that you can use to increase or decrease the height, it is worth mentioning that the height of this system can be reduced or increased within a range of 7’5” to 10’ (tournament standard).
40 Gallons Portable Base
Not only the base’swater/sand storage capacity is 40 gallons, but with this setup Spalding tried something new. They made a hybrid base that can store both: sand and water at the same time. 200lbs of sand/gravel and 19 gallons of water can be stored in separate pockets.
The whole thing, from rim’s steel to chassis to pole, is powder coated for protection from moist and rust etc.
3. Spalding NBA System –
What if you loved hoops made by Spalding, and instead of getting a tempered glass backboard, you want to get an acrylic backboard for its own set of unique benefits? Well, this is what this Spalding hoop is for.
54” Acrylic Backboard
This is a 54” x 32” backboard that is almost perfect for anyone who wants to use a hoop for training purposes. The key difference between acrylic backboards and tempered glass backboards is that acrylic one is more durable. In terms of bounce, it is a little less bouncy than glass ones.
Arena Slam Breakaway Rim
This setup also comes with arena slam breakaway rim. As I have explained, this type of rim is what they use in international/national tournaments. The benefit of this rim is that you do not end up with injuring your arm that you can do in case of rigid rim.
Screw Jack Lift
I’ve already explained a little about this, but the nearest example of screw jack is one that you use to lift a car and change a punctured tire. The biggest benefit of this system is that even a kid can use it. In case you want to know the range that you can play within is 7’5” to 10’.
40 Gallons Base
This setup also comes with a big 40-gallons base. Let me tell you something, this gallonage is where you start making your hoops unshakeable in face of fierce weather/wind. However, unlike the above reviewed Spalding, this one’s base is not a hybrid one. You can either fill it with water or with sand/gravel.
Square Weather-Protected Pole
The pole, the chassis, the screw jack system and the rim of this hoop, all of them are powder coated for weather protection.
4. Lifetime 71522 –
For this review and listicle, I picked a mix of portable and in-ground hoops and the collection could not be considered complete without including Lifetime’s portable and in-ground hoops. This one is portable and one of the best in its kind.
54” x 33” Backboard
This is kind of standard size for basketball hoops that I’ve reviewed in this piece. However, in terms of material, this one is different from others, because it is made of polycarbonate. While in terms of rebound it is more or less as good as other materials are, its real strength lies in its durability. It is 253 times more durable than tempered glass ones.
Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism
Now, this is something new and better than the screw jack system. Why? Because power lift can be handled with one hand – this is how easy it is. The height adjustment limit is from 7’5” to 10’. The entire system (chassis and pole) are powder-coated for weather protection.
Slam-It Pro Rim
This 18” rim with an all-weather nylon net is the premium quality breakaway rim offered by Lifetime. Forget the “Slam-It” detail; it is just another brand name like Arena Slam from Spalding.
35 Gallon Base
Where this portable 54” hoop system sort of disappoints me is its base’s gallonage. It can only take 35 gallon water which is simple insufficient for a semi-professional level basketball setup’s base.
5. Lifetime 71524 XL –
Let us admit: all of us have our own unique basketball playing needs. Some of us want those hoops at office to allow the workers have fun when they’re free, some of use want them for home and then there are those who want them for training. A portable system like Lifetime 71524 is best for training.
54” x 33” Backboard
This is a big 54” x 33” backboard and it is made of polycarbonate. As I’ve explained earlier, polycarbonate is not only considered good for a bounce/rebound effect, but most importantly, this material is more durable than others. However, there is a drawback to this material: when exposed to sun light, it becomes yellowish and ugly.
Power Lift Height Adjustment Mechanism
There is no major difference between this hoop and the other Lifetime hoop that I’ve reviewed above. Except, this one is in-ground and not a portable one. It has the same Power Life system that enables even a kid to change the height. Height can be adjusted within a limit of 7’5” to 10’ (professional height).
Slam-It Pro Rim
So, why Lifetime calls its proprietary rim a “Slam-It” rim? Because slamming is a particular way of dunking the hoop and these rims make slamming easier for the player. It is nonetheless a breakaway rim.
From 18” rim to pole and chassis, all metal parts on this hoop are powder coated for maximum protection against moisture and rust.
6. Spalding Pro Slam –
In case you want the best hybrid basketball hoop (good for fun as well as training), and you want a Spalding one, but you’re tight on budget, you always go for something like Spalding NBA 54” Pro Slam hoop if not the same exact hoop.
Yes, we cannot ignore that one of the biggest motivators when it comes to buying stuff is the price itself. People want high-quality stuff at affordable rates and not only this setup from Spalding promises it, but it also proves it. Price around $300 for a professional + fun hoop from Spalding is not bad at all.
54” Acrylic Backboard
This is a big 54” x 32” x 3.5mm steel-framed, highly-durable acrylic backboard. While acrylic backboards are not as good in terms of bounce/rebound as glass ones are, they take hard hitting for you and they’re almost shatterproof.
18” Heavy-Duty Breakaway Rim
The name Pro Slam is what this setup got because of the Pro Slam, 18”, heavy-duty and professional rim that comes with us. The powder-coated rim does not catch rust, it has a weather-proof nylon net and it is a breakaway rim.
5” Angled Pole
So, what is an angled pole? We know that it is a 3.5” thick, round pole made of steel and it is powder-coated for weather protection, and that its thickness makes it a tad bit better than many other setups’ poles, but wat is angled pole. An angled pole is one leaning towards the player. Due to the angle, it works better with gravity and keeps the hoop from shaking a lot.
34 Gallons Base
Again, it is quite disappointing to see a 34 gallons base; in my personal opinion a professional or professional-fun hybrid basketball setup’s base gallonage should start from 40 gallons at least. However, since this setup has an angled pole, we can hope that it would compensate for the lack of gallonage.
In case you’re a Spalding fan, but you always wanted to buy an in-ground goal, you would love to get your hands on this hoop. This is a big professional size (almost) hoop with a professional rim and while it is perfect for professional training, you can always use it at home of office.
This is a big 54” x 32” tempered glass backboard. And you know what tempered glass backboards are best at? Hint: it is not durability, although they are very durable. They are best at bounciness: the rebound that you want the second the ball hit the backboard.
U-Turn Pro Lift
This is Spalding’s proprietary height adjustment system. With just turn of a handle you can adjust the height of the hoop anywhere from 7’5” to 10’. This system is one of its own kind because even a kid can singlehandedly adjust the height with this system.
4” 2 Piece Telescopic Pole
So, the shaft of this hoop is a 4” thick, square, stainless steel shaft that is a telescopic shaft and comes in 2 pieces.
Ground Sleeve for Assembly
The ground sleeve is a simple and yet very smart feature that helps you with assembly and disassembly. This sleeve indicates how deep you should insert the pole in the concrete.
Pro-Image Breakaway Rim
Again, Pro-Image is just a sort of brand name that Spalding picked for this breakaway rim. What you actually need to know is that it is a breakaway rim and this type of rims are considered best for professional training. They go easy on your arms, wrists and joints.
Stainless Steel Material
The whole thing, from rim to pole is made of stainless steel. This high-quality material is going to be there forever. The rim, a standard 18” rim is also made of it and even though it is a breakaway one (not as sturdy as rigid one), it will stay for a long time.
What makes the stainless-steel frame and everything even better is the powder coating on it. Due to that weatherproof coating, your setup will stay safe from moisture, rust, and warping, etc.
Let us suppose that you have read all these reviews, but you still want to know what to look for when buying 54” basketball hoops – in-ground or portable ones.
This is where this guide comes to play. Read this, make a checklist, and buy the hoop that checks all or most of the boxes.
You will never regret.
Of course, this is the most important point here. See, if you’re bent on one size and that is 54” (perfect balance between totally professional or totally leisure basketball setups), you should be concerned with the size.
Make sure that whichever hoop you like, comes with a 54” backboard.
There are two types of rims: rigid frame and breakaway ones. Now, don’t get me wrong when you see me praising the breakaway ones, but rigid frames have their own pros.
Normally, they stay longer than the breakaway ones, because as the name suggests, they’re rigid. They are fixed. They do not have hinges and thus they do not break too easily/early.
Another plus point is that they are more affordable than breakaway ones.
And you already know why breakaway rims are preferred.
Pole & Height Adjustment
When it comes to poles, there are a few matters of concern:
- How thick is the pole – 3” is what you should at least seek for
- Whether it is telescopic or it has a lift system
- Whether it is powder-coated for weather protection or not
And then comes height adjustment mechanism. There are many of them. There is screw jack system and there are some that are even easier than this.
Your backboard stops the ball from vanishing in the backdrop and the it rebounds it back towards you.
You should pick the backboard based on:
- How durable is it?
- How good is its rebound?
There are different materials such as polycarbonate, acrylic and tempered glass etc.
This applies only to portable hoops.
Minimum gallonage should be 35 – 40 gallons, base should be easy to move (by design) and it should be made of durable materials.
So these were some of the best 54” basketball hoops that I could find for you. Now it is time for you to pick the best possible fit for your needs. There is no need to hurry to take a decision. It is better to consider and determine all possibilities and your preferences and then pick a basketball hoop.
I have been playing basketball for more than a decade now, and my passion and enthusiasm for it drove me to write about it. I am Ahmed, a professional basketball player and a fan who has now become a writer to help fellow basketball players and enthusiasts to opt for the best possible basketball accessories and essentials. Stay tuned to feast yourself with the content you might not have seen anywhere else.